Peugeot 308 third generation plug-in test

If you look at the history of the Peugeot 308, the third generation of which is right in front of you, you will find that only a few cars have become beautiful like this mid-range French sedan and station wagon. While no one ever looked back much in the first generation from 2007, and the ratings were garnered at a “pretty decent” level at best, the second generation, introduced in 2013, received very enthusiastic responses.

Moreover, this was by no means a mere subjective assessment of the external design. I once lived through the introduction of the second-generation 308 as a journalist, and I remember how my co-workers and I nodded appreciatively at the time about an all-new car layout, better handling, and a huge change in driving characteristics and overall. driving experience. Peugeot has therefore taken a new and much better direction from the very first step.

Photo: Lukas Volsicky

The design is obviously very close to the brother 508, but it is only very good in this case

The first glance at the new third generation, introduced only a few months ago, then clearly shows that the mark of the established management is respected, and does it quite correctly. As I have followed the reactions of people around me, there are not many who dislike it. The crouching cuckoo clock, the vertical daylight “teeth”, but also the apparent trifles like the new logo simply have something in them. In the case of the car tested, it is a GT variant, which optically adds more points. The white silhouette of a low hatchback on large wheels with convex fenders and underlined sills and bumpers is simply stylish.

Beautiful interior with its already traditional evil

The impression of a “cool hot-hatch” persists even inside, where after sitting down, a rigid driver’s seat hugs me with its side guide. The processing is very decent and many elements, such as the gear selector in the form of a decent switch or the infotainment touch buttons in the form of separate screens, are absolutely pleasing to the eye.

Photo: Lukas Volsicky

The car’s outrageous blue upholstery looks good. It is a bit suitable for a “jewelry” interior

But above all, the parade hangs on an element that has been in place in various Peugeots for years – the inverted position of the steering wheel and the alarm clocks. Peugeot calls the layout of this driving position the i-Cockpit, and I can’t help it, it looks a bit like someone is trying to reinvent the wheel. The result is a circle, only a little more tapered – just as the steering wheel needs to be tapered so that the alarm clocks sticking out of the dash can be seen at least a little.

The idea behind this idea is, as usual, noble. When you have alarms (hence the digital instrument panel) higher than the steering wheel, you have key and important information closer to your field of vision and you don’t have to look down as much. However, the result is that you still cover at least a small part of the alarm with the steering wheel. In addition, the steering wheel rim itself is too small and flattening is simply impossible in any car – the steering wheel must be round and done. No one has ever invented and will invent a better form.

Photo: Lukas Volsicky

I’m still relatively good at this – I’ll only cover about a third of the clock display with my steering wheel. However, it is individual, it depends on your build and how you are used to sitting in the car

Speaking of lamentation, the space of the interior is no great glory. The kids will fit in the back, you’ll take the adults on a shorter route, but it’s not for a long vacation. The suitcase then suffers from the typical hybrid charging problem. The short tailgate (the station wagon is much better) isn’t huge at all, but when you add a battery directly under the floor, which eliminates the possibility of a double bottom, and a considerable size of the charging cable and the charger, there is not much space left. Those who only roll in two will not feel the lack. However, when traveling with children or larger volumes of luggage, you should choose a station wagon, especially if you specifically opt for a plug-in hybrid.

Photo: Lukas Volsicky

You don’t put load properties in the chest if you want to take them with you. And they don’t take up much space

The powertrain shows a lot, but you have to think about it

The plug-in hybrid is the only option if you want your Peugeot 308 to drive as well as it looks. While the gasoline three-cylinder and diesel four-cylinder each have 130 horsepower, the Charge Hybrid, which combines a supercharged gasoline four-cylinder six-cylinder with an electric motor, has 180 or, if tested, even 225 horsepower.

Photo: Lukas Volsicky

If the traction battery is charged, the four-cylinder gasoline engine will not run after the car “starts”. Plug-in hybrid tries to run on battery as much as possible

It’s true that when gasoline and electric generators are working together, the 308 is decently lively. It manages to sprint from zero to 100 in 7.5 seconds, and it’s fun to ride. The electric motor kicks in immediately and makes up for the times when the internal combustion engine has no turbo pressure or is just shifting gears. The car then reacts playfully on a stiff sports chassis, bravely fights understeer and lets itself be driven cheerfully and safely on boroughs and motorways.

However, there is a pitfall – for the player to work properly and fully, it must have enough juice. Both in the fuel tank and in the batteries. But since the 308 is not such a big car, the fuel tank only has 40 liters and the battery only 12.4 kWh. The range of pure gasoline is about 500 kilometers, which is not a problem, but the battery will only give about 40 kilometers. Once unloaded, the internal combustion engine will be left alone. Although the car continues to work as a classic hybrid, so it can drive and navigate without an engine, but it does not have full power and in practice it becomes a classic gasoline sedan with consumption between seven and eight liters, which pulls a ballast in the form of a discharged battery and an electric drive.

Photo: Lukas Volsicky

Everything is great in terms of driving, but you can’t let the battery run out

The problem is that the battery drains even when the car is manually switched to hybrid mode (only, of course, slower than when running in pure electric mode). In order not to discharge and to retain its full power potential, it is necessary to “click” into the e-Save mode of the infotainment system, where the drive chain keeps the battery charged to a certain level or recharges it while driving (at the cost of increased gas mileage). You just need to keep the energy in the batteries, whether you’re going to use full power or want to cover the last few miles around town on electric power alone.

This is exactly the trap of the plug-in hybrid. In principle, this sounds like a really good idea – you have a car that manages short distances with flashlights, but travels long distances on petrol without needing to plan charging, or it can combine both types driving and achieve great performance. In practice, however, it’s the only drive in today’s cars that you have to “fix” and think about. You have a charging connector on one side, a tank neck on the other and you have to be careful of both. If you pay attention to that, everything works as it should, and that’s great. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to fall into the fact that you just stab yourself through the whole electrical part, don’t charge the battery and then there’s a gas car with a ballast charge…

The Peugeot 308 in its version with a strong plug-in hybrid is therefore a beautiful, very successful car, but there are two “buts”. Inside, you have to go through the amazing ergonomics, hence the position of the steering wheel and dash, and then you also have to tackle a specific plug-in hybrid game and use that drive as intended. However, if you join, you will benefit from high performance and potentially very low operating costs. It is simply necessary to consider your specific user approach very carefully – more carefully than with conventional engines.

And finally, of course, the price, which is quite high considering the technical sophistication of the plug-in hybrid – especially the highest on the price list for the new Peugeot 308. The very basic 308 is based on 490 thousand and you can buy a weaker plug-in hybrid as standard, which works out to 785,000. the most tested version of the GT Pack with a powerful hybrid then costs just over a million.

Motor inline-four, turbo, front-mounted crosswise + electric motor
Shift 1,598 cc
Performance 132 kW (180 hp) at 6000 rpm.
Couple 250 Nm at 1750 rpm.
electric motor 81 kW (110 hp) and 320 Nm
Combined performance of the hybrid system 165 kW (225 hp) and 360 Nm
Transmission automatic, 8 degrees
To drive front wheels
Standby weight 1,633 kilograms
Acceleration 0–100 km/h 7.5 sec
Maximum speed 235 km/h
Consumption (low battery, handset) 7.6 liters per 100 km
Fuel tank capacity 40 liters
Battery capacity 12.4 kWh (9.9 kWh usable)
Electric range about 40km
loading up to 3.7 kW, on request up to 7.4 kW
Wheels and tires 225/40R18
Dimensions (length / width / height) 4367/1859/1441mm
Wheelbase 2675mm
Luggage compartment volume 361 liters

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